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Old 04-06-2013, 03:46 AM   #1 
Meggu
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Join Date: Apr 2013
I need confirmation

Hello everyone, I just bought my lovely long tailed betta "Hemsworth" about a month ago. He's been a real friendly little dude ever since I got him, seemed to like me a whole lot. He'd come to meet me when I walked by, blew bubble nests, flared his fins at me when I put my finger up to the glass, and ate every thing I gave him.

All of this was while he was in this 1L tiramasu bowl, so I figured if he's going fine is so little water, I'll put him in a bigger 1 gallon bowl. He was doing pretty good! Still eating, making bubbles... Until we had a really bad cold snap. I live in Calgary (the one in Alberta, Canada) and it was 20 Celsius for the day, but then over night it snowed (I know right), and when I went to feed Hemsworth?... Clamped finned, not moving, not eating, no bubbles, SO not impressed with live.

Thus begins my adventure of figuring out What's Eating Hemsworth Grape (preferably not literally.)

Since that fateful morning I have:
Cleaned out his bowl, awkwardly warmed his bowl with a 10 year old heating fan in order to keep him warm until I got a mini tank heater, then got him a mini tank heater... The heater will not stick to the side of the bowl because of the curve, so I stuffed it flat in to the rocks only to find him burring himself underneath. I lifted it upright to avoid it falling on it's own and crushing him.

Otherwise he's no longer cramped-finned and lethargic, but he's still not eating and he's not greeting me anymore; he's freaking out and making a few laps every time I walk by ad then actually hiding behind his plant away from me. I know bettas can go awhile with out food, especially if they're in smaller areas, but I have been so stressed over it my boyfriend is losing his mind.

For now I've put a piece of neutral coloured cloth around the bowl, because I have a feeling seeing us walk by is one of the reasons he's so extra stressed.

I DO plan on moving him to a tank with a proper heater and filter installed, but that won't be until my oldest sister moves to San Fran in June.

What I need to know is, is my little dude gonna be alright for those two months? Water/food details below!
  • Water is conditioned with Seachem Water Conditioner, left to sit for 24 hours before I actually integrate it into the water.
  • Food includes a combo of BettaMin Tropical Medley Flakes and (HBH?) Betta Bites granules. (I switch back and forth)
  • Water is currently holding at 80F, though even though it has been cleaned out a squick there is a residue on top, however I recall that happening a lot with my sister's betta.
  • Bowl holds up to 1 Gallon, though I leave 3 inches at the top in case he gets any bold ideas (though I don't think he has the grit right now )
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:15 AM   #2 
VJM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
How often do you change the water? What percentage? Do you have a testing kit (not strips)? Are there plants in there (real or fake)?
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:15 PM   #3 
Meggu
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I've been doing a 100% water change once a week, before realizing that was a no-no. I don't have a testing kit (though the conditioner says it brings the water to a ph of 7?). The plant is just a simple plastic plant made for aquariums.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #4 
VJM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
I am new to bettas, but I will just throw out everything I notice. Hopefully, someone more experienced will be along, or you can pm one of them.

1. in a 1 gallon bowl, you should be doing a 50% water change twice a week, and a 100% water change once a week. When you skimp on changes, ammonia builds up to toxic levels very quickly. This can effect their overall health, their appetite, and eventually kill them.

2. I don't know how you are acclimating him back to the tank once you have changed it.

For 50% water changes, he can stay in there while you siphon out the bowl with a turkey baster. Then you just add your new conditioned water in very gently. You have to make sure that the temperature of the new water matches the tank water, so you don't shock him.

For 100% changes, you need to put him in a cup and wash everything very thoroughly (no soap, obviously). If you have gravel, you need to rinse it off really well. Once you reassemble the tank, make sure the temperature is correct, and float his cup in the tank. This sounds challenging in a one gallon, so you will have to play around with the container he stays in to find one that fits. After about 10 minutes, add some tank water to the cup. Repeat every ten minutes for an hour. Then release him into the tank.

3. The film on top is probably just a protein film, so no need to worry. Once you have a filter, you won't see it again unless you have dead spots with no water movement. If you have ever used soap, it could be residue and then you would need to wash everything super super thoroughly to get rid of every last bit of it.

4. Food: those aren't really recommended. The big favorite here is New Life Spectrum pellets (NLS). They have garlic in them, and fish really seem to gobble them down. Also good is Omega One pellets. Some bettas refuse pellets, but it sounds like your guy was eating them fine. Give NLS a try. I would do that before anything, as well as upping your water changes.

5. Plastic plants are hard on bettas fins, usually. Try to get some silk or real plants. Them seem to really like a lot of hiding places and spots to "park themselves", so don't be afraid to put quite a few in there. Make sure they don't have any metal in them. The "Habitat" section of the board has a bunch of warnings on silk plants that have metal parts and start to rust, so give those a read. If you find some real anubias, you don't even need substrate. You can just tie them to rocks. I believe java fern could also do fine in your current set up. Real plants do need a light though. A desk lamp positioned over the tank is fine, but you need a CFL with at least 6500k (it's on the box) to keep plants alive.

People do keep bettas successfully in a one gallon container, but it is obviously a lot more demanding than if they were in a larger, cycled tank. Things can go bad very quickly in small containers. If you are vigilant about water changes and making sure the temperature is stable, you should be fine until you can get a bigger tank.

Like I said, I am new to bettas, but that is what I have learned by reading this board pretty compulsively. Lots of great info here, and most questions have been asked before so you can search almost anything and find an answer. If you haven't, check out the stickies in the disease section and see if any of it seems to fit your guy.

Good luck!
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